By Robert Holzmeier

What sort of spell might a dwarven battle-mage create? According to some loremasters, it’s an enchantment that forces opponents into melee combat! Find out more about the spell, and how it may have backfired against its fighter/wizard wielders in long-ago days:

Mindless Rage

Enchantment (Compulsion) [ Mind-Affecting]
Level: Brd 2, Sor/Wiz 2
Components: V, S, F
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft/2 levels)
Targets: One person or creature
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

Creatures affected by the spell mindless rage become so filled with rage that they can do nothing but focus on engaging the caster in personal physical combat. The affected creature cannot use any spells, spell-like or supernatural abilities, or ranged weapons while attacking the caster. The subject's only thoughts are of killing the caster -- if not with bare hands, then with a hand-held melee weapon at best.

It's worth noting that the recipient of this spell, though overcome with rage, is by no means rendered an idiot or suicidal. For example, an affected creature will not charge off a cliff in an attempt to reach the target.

While under the effect of a mindless rage spell, the subject can make use of all normal melee combat skills, abilities, and feats -- either offensive or defensive. However, the affected creature cannot use any ability that requires activation or concentration.

An interesting side effect of mindless rage occurs when the spell is cast upon any character capable of the rage ability (such as a barbarian). In these cases, the mindless rage episode counts as one of the character's uses of rage for that day.

Mindless rage is a fairly uncommon spell. It’s believed to have been developed by dwarven fighter/wizards who preferred to face their opponents in melee combat over magical conflicts. Of course, many of the stories tracing this spell's origins to the battle-mages also note that this dwarven method of ensuring melee combat against spellcasters backfired when the group ran afoul of a band of sorcerer/barbarians.

Arcane Focus: Successful casting of mindless rage requires the caster to utilize a scarlet handkerchief or similar piece of cloth, which is waved in the target's direction while the caster vocalizes the verbal component.

About the Author

Robert Holzmeier has played D&D for more than 20 years. A lapsed player, he’s glad to come back into the fold with the release of the new edition of the game. He has contributed the spell mirror move to our online Spellbook, as well as designing last month’s free online adventure, The Vessel of Stars and its associated creatures in Monster Mayhem!


© 1995-2004 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Wizards is headquartered in Renton, Washington, PO Box 707, Renton, WA 98057.